Russian Federation slams United States supplying weapons to Ukraine as encouraging use of 'force'

Russian Federation slams United States supplying weapons to Ukraine as encouraging use of 'force'

Officially the State Department said the USA will offer Ukraine "enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to deter further aggression".

"The United States has made a decision to provide Ukraine enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity, to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to deter further aggression", Nauert said.

The statement added that the "U.S. assistance is entirely defensive in nature". "The total defence package of $47 million includes the sale of 210 anti-tank missiles and 35 launchers". The state department pointed out that approving the "commercial export" of lethal arms was "nothing new", because Washington has repeatedly allowed USA arms manufacturers to sell weapons to Kiev "under the previous two administrations".

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told the state RIA Novosti news agency Saturday that the US move "raises the danger of derailing the process of peaceful settlement in Ukraine".

USA officials said Friday that the Trump administration approved a plan to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, in a long-awaited move that deepens America's involvement in the military conflict and may further strain relations with Russian Federation.

The angry response from Moscow comes a day after President Donald Trump's administration approved a plan to provide weapons to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.

He also said the USA can no longer cast itself as a mediator. Last week, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called ongoing shelling and casualties as a "dire humanitarian situation". Ukraine accuses Russian Federation of sending the tanks, and the USA says Moscow is arming, training and fighting alongside the separatists.

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"The truth is that this is not a game changer on the ground in Ukraine", he said.

Ukraine and Russia were once allies whose intelligence agencies often worked closely together, but relations deteriorated after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Among the items the Ukrainian government is expected to receive as part of the $41.5 million-worth sale are sniper rifles, ammunition, and other associated parts and materials, ABC News learned from two unnamed USA congressional sources.

The move comes amid a recent uptick in clashes between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed separatists, and the same week the Trump administration announced it would permit sales of some small arms to Ukraine from USA manufacturers.

The United States, under Obama, also imposed sanctions on Russian Federation for its invasion and annexation of Crimea. The US has not provided lethal defensive equipment to Ukraine, Nauert said, nor has it ruled out doing so.

Another Russian deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, said the USA move would undermine efforts to reach a political settlement in Ukraine.

Nauert said the United States continued to call on Russian Federation to withdraw its forces and weaponry from Ukraine.

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